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Coronavirus: Travel Companies Waive Change Fees

Many travel companies are waiving change fees for a limited time. If you have a holiday booked but don’t want to travel now, simply change your dates to travel later in the year.  


We all want a holiday to look forward to, but unfortunately coronavirus Covid-19 is affecting our travel plans. Many of us are afraid to book summer holidays in case the virus spreads to our chosen destination. Thankfully, the airlines and travel companies have realised our frustration and have waived change fees for new bookings. While this won’t appease people who have already booked flights and may wish to change their travel plans, it will certainly give peace of mind to those who have yet to book a holiday.

Read: Latest travel updates due to coronavirus

book your holiday now with no change fees if you need to change your date


For example: If you decide to book a holiday to Spain in July, you can now do so knowing that if you need, or wish to change your date or destination, you can do this free of charge. Please note that you will need to pay the difference in airfare, if there is one, i.e if you are booked to go to Malaga and change to New York, you will obviously have to pay the difference in price.



It is also important to be aware that airlines policies may change. At the moment many airlines have specified that this will only apply for a short period of time – most are applicable for new bookings made before the end of March. So if you see good value airfares for your chosen destination, I would advise you to book them now – you can always change the date or destination later if necessary. 

airlines that are waiving change fees due to coronavirus



Not all airlines and travel companies have the same policies on waiving change fees, so I have listed those that I am aware of below. It is important to check the terms and conditions of each airline or travel company before making your decision. I will update this list as I receive notification, and I ask any travel companies that I have omitted from this list to contact me. I also urge any travel companies or airlines that have not yet taken this approach to waive change fees, to do so immediately.

Read:  What to do if you have booked a holiday and are worried about Coronavirus

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Read: Why you need to add travel disruption cover to your travel insurance policy



Airlines Waiving Change Fees:


Aer Lingus:

Aer Lingus are waiving change fees for ALL bookings effective 13th March at 3pm. The waiver applies to all fare types, all destinations and all travel departing in March, April or May.



Air Canada

Air Canada are waiving change fees on new bookings made from 4th March – 31st March 2020. Air Canada will allow you to make a one-time change to your flight up to 14 days before travel. 



Air France / KLM

Air France and KLM are waiving change fees for new bookings effective 6th March. This is valid for bookings made before 31st March for flights departing up to 31st May 2020. If you wish to travel after 31st May 2020 a non-refundable voucher will be offered in lieu, that will be valid for one year and can be used on Air France or KLM flights.

Air France waive change fees due to coronavirus

American Airlines

If you purchase a new Non-Refundable Fare ticket between the 5th March and 31st March 2020 and need to change your travel plans, American Airlines will allow you make a one-time change before your original departure date and waive the change fee. Tickets can purchased for travel up to 30th January 2021.



British Airways

British Airways have waived change fees on all new bookings made from 3rd March until 16th March 2020. You can change to any date in the next 12 months. 



Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines are waiving all change fees on flights purchased between 1st March and 31st March 2020, for travel up to 25th February 2021. Tickets can be changed one-time only and must be re-issued before 28th February 2021. You may also cancel your flights and apply any unused value of the ticket toward the purchase of a new ticket for a period of one year from the original issue date – applicable change fee and fare difference will apply for new travel dates and will be collected at the time of booking the new ticket. 

Delta are also allowing customers who have booked flights before 1st March 2020 to travel during March 2020 to change their flights to travel no later than 31st May 2020.

delta airlines waives change fees due to coronavirus





Emirates are waiving all change fees for all new bookings made between the 7th and 31st March 2020. Customers can change their booking to any date for travel within an 11-month date range in the same booking class without change penalties. Difference in fare, if applicable, applies.



Ethiopian Airlines

Change fees are no longer applicable for tickets issued anytime for travel from 01 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. Customers rebooking must travel on/before 31 December 2020. Full Refund is also authorised for travel dates between 01 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. Refund can also be made free of charge by issuing a voucher of equal amount to be used within one year of issue.



Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways’ Travel With Confidence Policy will allow customers to change or delay their travel plans for all bookings with a travel date before 30th June. Changes must be made no later than 3 days before departure. 




From today 13th March until Tueday 31st March, Ryanair will waive the flight change fee for customers who wish to change their travel plans due to the current Covid-19 outbreak. This policy applies to all existing and new bookings.




Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines are waiving change fees (first change only) on new tickets purchased between the 6th of March to 24th March 2020. This is valid on all departures up to 31st December 2020, changes must be made 5 days prior to departure. Domestic flights in Turkey and to/from Ercan Airport are not included.

turkish airlines



United Airlines

United Airlines are waiving change fees on all flights due to depart before 30th April 2020, regardless of when you booked. Passengers are allowed to change to a flight of equal or lesser value up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date. If the new flight is priced higher, the customer may change for no fee but must pay the fare difference. If the new flight is priced lower, the customer may change for free but no residual value will be given. If the customer decides to cancel their flight, they can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date.

If the customer decides to cancel the flight they booked between March 3 and March 31, 2020, they can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date.



Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic is waiving change fees for new bookings made from 4th March to 31st March 2020 for travel up to 30th September 2020.



Cruise Lines Waiving Change Fees:


MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises is allowing all customers to reschedule their cruise if booked to travel before 30th June 2020, to travel any time up to December 2021. Cruises must be changed within the same geographical area, for example a Med cruise for a Med cruise, and Caribbean for a Caribbean cruise up to the value of their current cruise. If the new cruise is of higher value, customers can pay the difference.

You must have paid your cruise balance in full before changes are applied. If you have not paid your balance in full, you are not eligible for the Flexible Cruise programme. However, you can still participate once you pay your balance in full as per your payment terms.  

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Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises is pausing all cruises for 60 days, effective immediately until 11 May, 2020. Princess Cruises cancellation policy varies by departure date and is valid for cruises departing up to 31st May. Guests can transfer 100% of the money paid for their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice. To add a bonus incentive for guests to accept this offer, the company will add an additional generous future cruise credit benefit which can be applied to the cruise fare. The future cruise credit can be used on any voyage departing through May 1, 2022. If the future cruise credit option does not work for some guests, they will be able to complete an electronic form on to request a cash refund. 




Royal Caribbean International / Celebrity Cruises / Azamara and Silversea Cruises

Royal Caribbean is now allowing guests to cancel cruises as late as two days before departure and this policy applies to new and existing bookings. Their “Cruise With Confidence” policy ensures guests will receive a full credit for their fare, usable on any future sailing in 2020 or 2021.  This policy applies to all cruises departing before 31st July 2020.


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Norwegian Cruise Line

From March 10th, guests who have booked to travel up to 30th September can cancel their booking up to 48 hours prior to departure, and receive a 100% future cruise credit to be used up to December 2022.




Travel Companies Waiving Change Fees:


The Travel Corporation

For all Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, Trafalgar Tours,and Costsaver Tours bookings departing after the 1st April 2020 and all cruises for Uniworld Boutique River Cruises and U River Cruises departing after 01st May 2020, customers can avail of a waiver for the cancellation penalty until 30 days prior to departure, should guests wish to change their dates or travel to a different destination. Uniworld have also cancelled all cruise sailings up to 23rd April. 

uniworld waive change fees due to coronavirus




Camino Ways

Camino Ways will allow customers one free date change up to 30 days before departure on all bookings, regardless of booked date. New departure date must be within 12 months of original travel date.



Travel Agencies:

Many travel agencies including Atlantic Travel and Click& are also waiving change fees on existing and future bookings. During this unprecedented time, I would strongly advise everyone to book with an ITAA bonded and licensed travel agent.  If coronavirus escalates and you do need to change your booking at a later stage, you will have the security of dealing with a bonded and licensed travel agency and have a friendly accesible voice at the end of the phone. 


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The Travel Expert


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